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Graduate Program in IR vs INTL MBA

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First off, this board has been a wonderful find. I've spent probably more time than I should have in the last few days perusing through it.

Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone had any insight on graduate programs specifically centered on the IR half of international business relationship management and/or negotiations.

I've looked at top MBA programs (too finance/strategy based) and top IR programs (too policy/diplomacy based).

In the long term, I want to serve as an intermediary between western and east Asian firms (Korean & Japanese), helping to smooth cultural or language barriers

More specifically I am thinking of specializing further into the IT/Technology sector.

I'll be happy to answer any other questions if it might help.

Any ideas?


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A few thoughts.

For a more IR centric approach to international business, you might consider Tuft's Fletcher School's MIB (Masters in International Business). You can find for information about it here:


Another approach you might consider, which I have decided to do, is to pursue a joint degree between and MBA program and an IR program. This would give you the ability to dive deeper into both worlds while also exploring the interactions between the two. Furthermore, an MBA from a top tier school can open different doors and allows you access to the MBA recruiting pipeline which most MA/MPA/MPP programs lack.

For this a few schools really worth looking at are:

For MBA:

* Harvard (They have a joint degree with Harvard's Kennedy School)

o http://www.hbs.edu/

o Very large program (1000 in a class), most prestigious, very big on Case method

o They take the GRE

* Yale (They have a joint degree with Yale's Jackson Institute of International Affairs)

o http://mba.yale.edu/

o Unique curriculum, big on joint degrees, very socially/ethically conscious student body, blend of Case and traditional lecture

o They take the GRE

* Stanford (They have a joint degree with Harvard's Kennedy School)

o http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/

o A great school, very West Coast, big on private equity type stuff, a blend of case and lecture, somewhat do-gooder

o They take the GRE

* Wharton (They have a joint degree with Penn's IR program, the Lauder Institute, and with Harvard's Kennedy School, and with Johns Hopkins SAIS)

o http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/

o Very big name, big program (800+ in a class), heavy quant/finance focus, lecture focus

o They take the GRE

* Virginia (They have a joint degree with Virginia's IR program)

o http://www.darden.virginia.edu/html/defaulti.aspx

o Big on community, big on team learning, great traditional MBA curriculum (similar to Harvard), small class size (200), very Case method intensive

o They take the GRE for joint-degree students only

* Michigan (They have a joint degree with the Ford School of Public Policy)

o http://www.bus.umich.edu/

o A great school, I don't know that much about it - but worth looking into.

o The do NOT take the GRE

* Duke (They have a joint degree with the Terry Sanford School at Duke)

o http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/

o Great southern feel, very do-gooder, blend of case and lecture, big on international focus

o The do NOT take the GRE

* Dartmouth (They have a joint degree with Harvard's Kennedy School and Tuft's Fletcher School and with Johns Hopkins SAIS)

o http://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/

o A quite traditional MBA, very big on community, very big on consulting, big on Case Method

o They take the GRE

* Columbia (They have a joint degree with Columbia's SIPA)

o http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/

o Great ties to wall street, more quant focus, more lecture style teaching, great brand, in NYC

o The do NOT take the GRE

* Georgetown (They have a joint degree with Georgetown's School of Foreign Service)

o http://msb.georgetown.edu/

o Great DC connections, beautiful new campus, I don't know as much about this one

o The do NOT take the GRE

IR/Public Policy:

* Johns Hopkins SAIS

o http://www.sais-jhu.edu/

o Amazing IR school, great DC connections, very quant/econ focus

o They will partner with Dartmouth or Wharton

* Princeton WWS

o http://wws.princeton.edu/

o Amazing program, awesome faculty, poor community, almost everyone gets full funding

o Does not do a joint degree with anyone

* Harvard JFK

o http://www.hks.harvard.edu/

o Harvard brand, great professors, large core curriculum, more domestically focused

o Joint degree with HBS, Wharton, Dartmouth, Stanford

* Georgetown

o http://msfs.georgetown.edu/admissions/

o Amazing IR school, great DC connections, lots of State-department and CIA connections.

o Joint degree with Georgetown MBA only

* Tufts Fletcher

o http://fletcher.tufts.edu/

o Very flexible curriculum, great faculty, good funding, great brand in the IR world, in Boston

o Joint degree with Dartmouth

* Yale

o http://www.yale.edu/macmillan/iac/

o Great professors, more academically minded, flexible curriculum, Yale connections, new-large endowment

* Columbia SIPA

o http://www.sipa.columbia.edu/

o Really cool school, in NYC, great connections to UN and Wall Street, also State Dept.

* Michigan Ford School

o http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/

o More domestically focused, more policy than IR, but great faculty, Ann Arbor is a great town

o Joint degree with Michigan MBA

* Duke

o http://sanford.duke.edu/

o Cool school, great ties with Duke's MBA and Law schools, a blend of domestic and IR focus, relatively new

o Joint degree with Duke MBA only

Hopefully this is helpful. For full disclosure. I am doing a joint MBA/MA at Yale - starting this fall.

Edited by gen518
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Thank you so much for taking the time to write such an in depth reply. I guess I have some more research to do.

You said you were a current MBA/MA student at Yale. May I ask how your experience has been and what career you are aiming for?

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